There's No Such Thing as a Safe Tan

4 days 13 hours ago
H. Peter Soyer, Professor of Dermatology, and Katie Lee, Research assistant at The University of Queensland, write: There's a lot to be said for sunshine -- both good and bad. It's our main source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health. Populations with higher levels of sun exposure also have better blood pressure and mood levels, and fewer autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. On the other hand, excess UV exposure is estimated to contribute to 95% of melanomas and 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers. These skin cancers account for a whopping 80% of all new cancers each year in Australia. Like any medicine, the dose counts. And in Australia, particularly in the summer, our dose of UV is so high that even short incidental exposures -- like while you hang out the washing or walk from your carpark into the shops -- adds up to huge lifetime doses. Fortunately, when it comes to tanning, the advice is clear: don't. A UV dose that's high enough to induce a tan is already much higher than the dose needed for vitamin D production. A four-year-long study of 1,113 people in Nambour, Queensland, found no difference in vitamin D levels between sunscreen users and sunscreen avoiders. Further reading: Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?

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Giant Leaf For Mankind? China Germinates First Seed on Moon

4 days 13 hours ago
A small green shoot is growing on the moon after a cotton seed germinated onboard a Chinese lunar lander, scientists said. From a report: The sprout has emerged from a lattice-like structure inside a canister after the Chang'e 4 lander touched down earlier this month, according to a series of photos released by the Advanced Technology Research Institute at Chongqing University. "This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface," said Xie Gengxin, who led the design of the experiment, on Tuesday. Plants have been grown previously on the International Space Station, but this is the first time a seed has sprouted on the moon. The ability to grow plants in space is seen as crucial for long-term space missions and establishing human outposts elsewhere in the solar system, such as Mars.

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Riot Games Issues New Company Values In Wake of 'Bro' Culture Accusations

4 days 14 hours ago
An anonymous reader writes: Riot Games, the maker of the enormously popular League of Legends multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) PC game, has issued a new set of company values on its web site. They're the result of some soul searching after the company was accused by many of its own employees last year of having a sexist "bro" culture. The company said that these new values replace the company's Manifesto from 2012 and reflects conversations with more than 1,700 Rioters about "what we want our company to be."

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Windows Leak Site BuildFeed Closes Down

4 days 15 hours ago
Mark Wilson writes: After five years of leaking information about unreleased builds of Windows, BuildFeed has shut its shop. Over the weekend, the site posted a slew of build numbers including references to onecore and shell_devices_foldable. But there will be no more leaks coming from the BuildFeed. Citing 'extensive internal pressures and external pressures', site founder Thomas Hounsell says that he has terminated his project with immediate effect.

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Netflix To Raise Prices By 13% To 18%

4 days 15 hours ago
Netflix is raising its U.S. prices by 13 percent to 18 percent, its biggest increase since the company launched its streaming service 12 years ago. From a report: Its most popular plan will see the largest hike, to $13 per month from $11. That option offers high-definition streaming on up to two different internet-connected devices simultaneously. Even at the higher price, that plan is still a few dollars cheaper than HBO, whose streaming service charges $15 per month. The extra cash will help to pay for Netflix's huge investment in original shows and films and finance the heavy debt it has assumed to ward off rivals such as Amazon, Disney and AT&T. This marks the fourth time that Netflix has raised its U.S. prices; the last hike came in late 2017. But this is the first time that higher prices will hit all 58 million U.S. subscribers, the number Netflix reported at the end of September.

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Huawei CEO Says Company Doesn't Spy For China and Praises Trump in Rare Appearance

4 days 16 hours ago
Huawei would never allow China's government to access customer data, even if Beijing requested it, the CEO and founder of the company repeatedly emphasized Tuesday, amid continued political pressure on the Chinese technology giant. From a report: In a rare sit down with international media, Ren Zhengfei addressed concerns raised by the U.S. government, which has warned that the company's equipment could allow the Chinese government to have a backdoor into a nation's telecommunications network. Ren, speaking Mandarin and using a company-provided translator, told the group that Huawei has never handed data to Beijing. "When it comes to cybersecurity and privacy protection we are committed to be sided with our customers. We will never harm any nation or any individual," Ren told the journalists assembled at Huawei's headquarters in Shenzhen, China. "China's ministry of foreign affairs has officially clarified that no law in China requires any company to install mandatory back doors. Huawei and me personally have never received any request from any government to provide improper information," Ren added. [...] But Ren actually praised the U.S. president. "For President Trump as a person, I still believe he is a great president," he said. "In the sense that he was bold to slash taxes. And I think that's conducive for the development of industries in the United States."

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Verizon Charges New 'Spam' Fee For Texts Sent From Teachers To Students

4 days 17 hours ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A free texting service used by teachers, students, and parents may stop working on the Verizon Wireless network because of a dispute over texting fees that Verizon demanded from the company that operates the service. As a result, teachers that use the service have been expressing their displeasure with Verizon. Remind -- the company that offers the classroom communication service -- criticized Verizon for charging the new fee. Remind said its service's text message notifications will stop working on the Verizon network on January 28 unless Verizon changes course. (Notifications sent via email or via Remind's mobile apps will continue to work.) The controversy cropped up shortly after a Federal Communications Commission decision that allowed U.S. carriers' text-messaging services to remain largely unregulated. Verizon says the fee must be charged to fund spam-blocking services. Remind said in a statement: "To offer our text-messaging service free of charge, Remind has always paid for each text that users receive or send. Now, Verizon is charging Remind an additional fee intended for companies that send spam over its network. Your Remind messages aren't spam, but that hasn't helped resolve the issue with Verizon. The fee will increase our cost of supporting text messaging to at least 11 times our current cost -- forcing us to end free Remind text messaging for the more than 7 million students, parents, and educators who have Verizon Wireless as their carrier."

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Method For Fooling Cancer Cells Into Fat Cells Can Stop Cancer's Spread

4 days 20 hours ago
Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have discovered that they can prevent the formation of metastases by fooling breast cancer cells into fat cells. The proof-of-concept study was published in the journal Cancer Cell. Technology Networks reports: Malignant cells can rapidly respond and adapt to changing microenvironmental conditions, by reactivating a cellular process called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), enabling them to alter their molecular properties and transdifferentiate into a different type of cell (cellular plasticity). Cancer cells can exploit EMT -- a process that is usually associated with the development of organs during embryogenesis -- in order to migrate away from the primary tumor and form secondary metastases. Cellular plasticity is linked to cancer survival, invasion, tumor heterogeneity and resistance to both chemo and targeted therapies. In addition, EMT and the inverse process termed mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) both play a role in a cancer cell's ability to metastasize. Using mouse models of both murine and human breast cancer the team investigated whether they could therapeutically target cancer cells during the process of EMT -- whilst the cells are in a highly plastic state. When the mice were administered Rosiglitazone in combination with MEK inhibitors it provoked the transformation of the cancer cells into post-mitotic and functional adipocytes (fat cells). In addition, primary tumor growth was suppressed and metastasis was prevented. Since both drugs used in the preclinical study were FDA-approved the team are hopeful that it may be possible to translate this therapeutic approach to the clinic.

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First 5G Remote Surgery Completed In China

4 days 23 hours ago
According to local reports, the world's first remote surgery equipment using 5G networks was successfully tested in China. "The test involved a doctor in the southeastern province of Fujian removing the liver of a laboratory test animal at a remote location," reports Ubergizmo. "The doctor performed the surgery by controlling robotic surgical arms over a 5G connection." From the report: The lag time was said to be only 0.1 seconds between the control device of the doctor and the robot in the surgical room. The researchers said that this high speed can reduce the risk of potentially deadly medical mistakes. They hope that 5G enabled remote surgery will soon become reliable enough that it can be used safely on humans as well. This could end up saving countless lives as skilled surgeons will be able to operate on patients in remote locations in a safe manner. The South China Morning Post published a video that shows the doctor performing the surgery.

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DerbyCon Will Hold Its Last InfoSec Conference in September This Year

5 days 1 hour ago
DerbyCon 9.0, the upcoming edition of the popular InfoSec conference in September, will be its last. From an official announcement: When we first started DerbyCon, our goal was to create a conference where we could all come together to collaborate and share as a community, but most importantly as a profession. DerbyCon 1.0 was a huge gamble for us both personally and financially, but we believed in what we were doing, and it worked. For those that don't know the history of DerbyCon, it started off inside of a pizza shop as an idea between a few friends. Our goal was to create an affordable conference that shared a lot of what we had experienced in our early days in security. The ideas of collaboration, community, and the betterment of the industry and the safety of technology were at the forefront. At the end of DerbyCon 1.0, we realized that the conference was a huge success and our dream became a reality. [...] What we have had to deal with on the back-end the past few years is more than just running a conference and sharing with friends. The conference scene in general changed drastically and small pocket groups focus on outrage and disruption where there is no right answer (regardless of how you respond, it's wrong), instead of coming together, or making the industry better. There is a small, yet vocal group of people creating negativity, polarization, and disruption, with the primary intent of self-promotion to advance a career, for personal gain, or for more social media followers. Individuals that would have us be judge, jury, and executioner for people they have had issues with outside of the conference that has nothing to do with the conference itself. Instead of working hard in research, being a positive force in the industry, or sharing their own unique experiences (which makes us better as a whole), they tear others down in order to promote themselves. This isn't just about DerbyCon, it is present at other conferences as well and it's getting worse each year. We've spoken with a number of conference organizers, and each year it becomes substantially more difficult to host a conference where people can come together in large group settings. It's not just conferences either. This behavior is happening all over the place on social media, in our industry, targeting people trying to do good. As a community, we add fuel to fire, attack others, and give them a platform in one massive toxic environment. We do this all in fear of repercussions from upsetting others. Until this pattern changes, it will continue to get worse.

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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Manage Your Inbox?

5 days 2 hours ago
Being one of the oldest forms of electronic messaging, users have come up with all sorts of different approaches to managing emails. Some people follow the "Inbox Zero" method of filing and deleting emails religiously, while others embrace the "Inbox Infinity" method of letting email messages pile up, replying to what they can and ignoring the rest. Taylor Lorenz, a staff writer at The Atlantic, suggests users embrace the latter for 2019. Lulu Garcia-Nevarro writes via NPR: In a recent piece in The Atlantic, tech writer Taylor Lorenz argues, in 2019, you should lose the zero and embrace the Zen. Let all those emails flooding your inbox wash over you. Respond to what you can, and ignore the rest. Key to inbox infinity -- telling close contacts and family that your email replies might be slow in coming -- if at all -- as well as alternative ways to reach you. It's that easy. Or maybe not, depending on how email-dependent your boss, your colleagues and your best friend, your mom and your husband are. As for me, I've apparently been embracing inbox infinity for years without knowing it. And let me tell you, it feels great. Don't expect a reply anytime soon. How do you manage your inbox? Would you say you follow one of these two principles, or do you have an in-between method that works for you?

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Trump Administration Proposes Rules Allowing Drones To Operate At Night, Over Populated Areas

5 days 4 hours ago
The Trump administration is proposing rules that would allow drones to operate over popular areas and end a requirement for special permits for night use. The goal is to "help speed commercial use of small unmanned aerial vehicles in the United States," reports Reuters. From the report: The proposals, drafted by the Federal Aviation Administration of the U.S. Transportation Department, come amid concerns about dangers that drones potentially pose to aircraft and populated areas. The FAA said that in developing the proposals its challenge was to "balance the need to mitigate the risk small unmanned aircraft pose to other aircraft and to people and property on the ground without inhibiting innovation." The FAA is proposing ending requirements that drone operators get waivers to operate at night. Through 2017, the FAA granted 1,233 waivers and "has not received any reports of (drone) accidents," it said. The FAA would require that drones have "an anti-collision light illuminated and visible for at least three statute miles," as well as testing and training. Under the FAA's proposals, operators would be able to fly small unmanned aircraft weighing 0.55 pounds (0.25 kg) or less over populated areas without any additional restrictions. For drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds, however, a manufacturer would need to demonstrate that if an "unmanned aircraft crashed into a person, the resulting injury would be below a certain severity threshold." Those larger drones could not have exposed rotating parts that could lacerate human skin and could not operate over people if they have any safety defects, the FAA said. The FAA would prohibit operations of the largest drones over any open-air assembly of people. The report also mentions that the FAA is "proposing allowing discretionary waivers for operations over moving vehicles, for operations over people that would not otherwise meet the standards outlined in its proposal, and for those that do not meet its anti-collision lighting requirement."

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VW Investing $800 Million In Tennessee Factory To Make Next-Gen Electric Vehicles

5 days 4 hours ago
Volkswagen will spend $800 million to expand a U.S. factory that will produce the automaker's next generation of electric vehicles. "The factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. will be the company's North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles," reports TechCrunch. "The expansion is expected to create 1,000 jobs at the plant." From the report: VW's Chattanooga expansion is just a piece of the automaker's broader plan to move away from diesel in the wake of the emissions cheating scandal that erupted in 2015. Globally, VW Group plans to commit almost $50 billion through 2023 toward the development and production of electric vehicles and digital services. The Volkswagen brand (so not including its Audi or Porsche brands) alone has forecasted selling 150,000 EVs by 2020 worldwide, increasing that number to 1 million by 2025. The Tennessee factory (along with the other new facilities) will produce EVs using Volkswagen's modular electric toolkit chassis, or MEB, introduced by the company in 2016. The MEB is a flexible modular system -- really a matrix of common parts -- for producing electric vehicles that VW says make it more efficient and cost-effective. Electric vehicle production at the Tennessee site will begin in 2022. However, Volkswagen of America says it will offer the first EV based on the MEB platform to customers in 2020.This EV will be a series-production version of the I.D. CROZZ SUV concept that was first shown at the North American International Auto Show last year. This vehicle will have the interior space of a midsize SUV in the footprint of a compact SUV. Volkswagen of America will also offer a multi-purpose EV based off the I.D. BUZZ concept. This EV will be a series-production version of the I.D. CROZZ SUV concept that was first shown at the North American International Auto Show last year. This vehicle will have the interior space of a midsize SUV in the footprint of a compact SUV. Volkswagen of America will also offer a multi-purpose EV based off the I.D. BUZZ concept.

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Tesla Proposes Microgrids With Solar and Batteries To Power Greek Islands

5 days 5 hours ago
Tesla is proposing ways to modernize the electric grid of Greece's many islands in the Mediterranean sea with microgrids and renewable energy to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. "Several Greek islands are relatively remote and rely heavily on fossil fuels to power their electric grid," notes Electrek. From the report: The Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. George Stathakis, confirmed last week that they have met with Tesla to discuss the deployment of microgrids in Greek islands. They issued the following statement (translated from Greek via Capital.gr): "[...] The extremely interesting thing that emerged from the meeting is that technological progress has now significantly reduced the cost of energy storage. At the same time, successful competitions for new RES investments in Greece, led to an equally significant reduction in the cost of energy production. As a result, the conversion of the islands to RES, apart from being environmentally useful, is now also economically viable. In this context, cooperation with Tesla can prove to be extremely beneficial, as the American company officials have highlighted, showing strong interest in the initiatives promoted by the Ministry for 'smart' and 'energy' islands." Tesla has reportedly already suggested a pilot project to demonstrate their microgrid system in the region. The government would like it to be on the island of Limnos. The idea is to install a large solar array and combine it with an energy storage facility to store the excess energy during the day and use it at night when the sun is not shining.

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Tidal Under Criminal Investigation In Norway Over 'Faked' Streams

5 days 6 hours ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: High-fidelity music streaming service Tidal is under criminal investigation in Norway for allegedly inflating album streams for Beyonce's Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo. The alleged faking of streaming numbers was exposed last year by Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv (DN), which said it had obtained a hard drive with the tampered data. Around 1.3 million accounts were supposedly used to lift the play counts of said albums by "several hundred million," with Tidal paying out higher royalty fees to the two artists and their record labels as a result. In the wake of the report, a Norwegian songwriter's association known as Tono filed an official police complaint against Tidal. The Jay-Z-owned streaming service denied the accusations and subsequently launched an internal review to be conducted by a third-party cyber security company, which is still ongoing. Today, DN revealed that Norway's National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) has begun an investigation into data manipulation at Tidal. Though still in its early stages, Okokrim says that at least four former Tidal employees (including its former head of business intelligence -- responsible for analyzing streams) have been interrogated in front of a judge as part of the investigation. The quartet have faced a total of 25 hours of questioning thus far. Three former staffers reportedly recognized signs of meddling with the albums and contacted a lawyer before notifying Tidal. "All three individuals resigned from the company in 2016 after signing what a DN source called 'the gold standard of confidentiality contracts,'" reports Engadget.

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Hack Allows Escape of Play-With-Docker Containers

5 days 6 hours ago
secwatcher quotes a report from Threatpost: Researchers hacked the Docker test platform called Play-with-Docker, allowing them to access data and manipulate any test Docker containers running on the host system. The proof-of-concept hack does not impact production Docker instances, according to CyberArk researchers that developed the proof-of-concept attack. "The team was able to escape the container and run code remotely right on the host, which has obvious security implications," wrote researchers in a technical write-up posted Monday. Play-with-Docker is an open source free in-browser online playground designed to help developers learn how to use containers. While Play-with-Docker has the support of Docker, it was not created by nor is it maintained by the firm. The environment approximates having the Alpine Linux Virtual Machine in browser, allowing users to build and run Docker containers in various configurations. The vulnerability was reported to the developers of the platform on November 6. On January 7, the bug was patched. As for how many instances of Play-with-Docker may have been affected, "CyberArk estimated there were as many as 200 instances of containers running on the platform it analyzed," reports Threatpost. "It also estimates the domain receives 100,000 monthly site visitors."

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Apple Wanted To Use Qualcomm Chips For Its 2018 iPhones, But Qualcomm Refused Because of Companies' Licensing Dispute

5 days 7 hours ago
Apple's operating chief said on Monday that Qualcomm refused to sell its 4G LTE processors to the company due to the companies' licensing dispute. According to CNET, that decision "had a ripple effect on how quickly Apple can make the shift to 5G." From the report: Qualcomm continues to provide Apple with chips for its older iPhones, including the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple COO Jeff Williams testified Monday during the US Federal Trade Commission's trial against Qualcomm. But it won't provide Apple with processors for the newest iPhones, designed since the two began fighting over patents, he said. And Williams believes the royalty rate Apple paid for using Qualcomm patents -- $7.50 per iPhone -- is too high. The FTC has accused Qualcomm of operating a monopoly in wireless chips, forcing customers like Apple to work with it exclusively and charging excessive licensing fees for its technology. The FTC has said that Qualcomm forced Apple to pay licensing fees for its technology in exchange for using its chips in iPhones. The trial kicked off Jan. 4 in US District Court in San Jose, California. Testimony covers negotiations and events that occurred before March 2018 and can't encompass anything after that date. Apple is expected to only use Intel chips in its next iPhones, something that will make Apple late to the market for 5G phones. "By the 2019 holiday season, every major Android vendor in the U.S. will have a 5G phone available," reports CNET. "But Intel's 5G modem isn't expected to hit phones until 2020."

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Windows 7 Enters Its Final Year of Free Support

5 days 8 hours ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Windows 7's five years of extended support will expire on January 14, 2020 -- exactly one year from today. After this date, security fixes will no longer be freely available for the operating system that's still widely used. As always, the end of free support does not mean the end of support entirely. Microsoft has long offered paid support options for its operating systems beyond their normal lifetime, and Windows 7 is no different. What is different is the way that paid support will be offered. For previous versions of Windows, companies had to enter into a support contract of some kind to continue to receive patches. For Windows 7, however, the extra patches will simply be an optional extra that can be added to an existing volume license subscription -- no separate support contract needed -- on a per-device basis. These Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available for three years after the 2020 cut-off, with prices escalating each year.

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Web Hosting Sites Bluehost, DreamHost, Hostgator, OVH and iPage Were Vulnerable To Simple Account Takeover Hacks

5 days 8 hours ago
A security researcher has found, reported and now disclosed a dozen bugs that made it easy to steal sensitive information or take over any customer's account from some of the largest web hosting companies on the internet. From a news report: In some cases, clicking on a simple link would have been enough for Paulos Yibelo, a well-known and respected bug hunter, to take over the accounts of anyone using five large hosting providers -- Bluehost, DreamHost, Hostgator, OVH and iPage. "All five had at least one serious vulnerability allowing a user account hijack," he told TechCrunch, with which he shared his findings before going public. The results of his vulnerability testing likely wouldn't fill customers with much confidence. The bugs, now fixed -- according to Yibelo's writeup -- represent cases of aging infrastructure, complicated and sprawling web-based back-end systems and companies each with a massive user base -- with the potential to go easily wrong. In all, the bugs could have been used to target any number of the collective two million domains under Endurance-owned Bluehost, Hostgator and iPage, DreamHost's one million domains and OVH's four million domains -- totaling some seven million domains.

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Feds Can't Force You To Unlock Your iPhone With Finger Or Face, Judge Rules

5 days 9 hours ago
A California judge has ruled that American cops can't force people to unlock a mobile phone with their face or finger. The ruling goes further to protect people's private lives from government searches than any before and is being hailed as a potentially landmark decision. From a report: Previously, U.S. judges had ruled that police were allowed to force unlock devices like Apple's iPhone with biometrics, such as fingerprints, faces or irises. That was despite the fact feds weren't permitted to force a suspect to divulge a passcode. But according to a ruling uncovered by Forbes, all logins are equal. The order came from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the denial of a search warrant for an unspecified property in Oakland. The warrant was filed as part of an investigation into a Facebook extortion crime, in which a victim was asked to pay up or have an "embarassing" video of them publicly released. The cops had some suspects in mind and wanted to raid their property. In doing so, the feds also wanted to open up any phone on the premises via facial recognition, a fingerprint or an iris.

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